Understanding a New Trend - In situ Cleaning and Coating

By Corrosionpedia Staff | Published: October 5, 2015
Key Takeaways

In situ coating applications are extremely effective and can be used on all types of oil and gas lines, potable water lines, freshwater injection lines, commingled water injection lines, as well as in aviation fuel lines. The in situ coating (internal pipe coating) process protects pipelines from corrosion, erosion, and heat, while friction coefficients are improved. This results in significant gains in throughput and horsepower savings of up to 60% from a typically scaled pipeline. Some of the many other benefits to pipeline in situ cleaning and coating (internal pipeline coating) include friction protection, paraffin retardation as well as joint protection.?

Lou: Welcome. Good morning, good afternoon or good evening to everyone who has joined us worldwide for what we believe will be an excellent presentation on the art of internal pipeline cleaning and coating.

I’m Lou Frank, publisher of the Corrosion Media Network, that includes Corrosionpedia and Coastter, web-based platforms design to help corrosion professionals globally.

We’re excited to have all of you here, today. Clearly, each of you has a professional interest in corrosion and abrasion control issues related to pipelines, and I’m sure some of you already have some questions in [inaudible 00:01:52], or during the sessions, some questions will arise. At any time, please use that dialogue box on the lower right side of your screen to post the questions. We encourage them. And we promise we’ll get to them immediately at the end of the presentation.

So moving on, over the past two decades, there has emerged a variety of technologies that addressed pipeline cleaning and corrosion. Pigging has been around for quite a while. But interestingly, there has emerged a new technology or PIG inspection and coatings can be applied in one pass. This makes it for a very cost effective solution.

The Corrosionpedia Network is honored to host today’s presentation featuring people with true expertise in this area. Chad Carrier and alongside him is Nick Campbell, both are uniquely qualified to speak on this topic.

Gentlemen, welcome.

Chad: Lou, we’re really looking forward to delivering some valuable information to our listeners today. So thank you very much.

Lou: You bet. You two have a good bit of experience in this realm. Let me share a bit about each of you and your background with our audience.

Chad: Sounds good.

Lou: EnerClear Services began in 2005. Nathan got a start in In-situ cleaning and coating in the late 90s, working for another Alberta, Canada-based company. During this time, he travelled the world learning and perfecting the art of in situ internal pipeline cleaning and coating.

After years of [inaudible 00:03:25] on these coatings, Nathan noticed gaps in the market and discovered ways to improve the methodology and quality control of in situ coating process. And as a result, founded EnerClear Services.

The company started with a local Canadian market and has now grown to a global scale with team members that have been in situ coating for over 30 years.

Chad Carrier joined EnerClear Services 3 years ago in the business development role. And now heads up the Calgary divisions. He has a Communications degree from the University of Calgary, and handles sales and marketing for the EnerClear chain.

Chad, as we are planning for this, you were telling me a story about 16-years cooling water, uh… inline water cooling tower. And I thought we might start with sharing that quick story with our audience.

Chad: Yeah, that sounds great. The project that we were mentioning is… So, back in 2010, we did a project in a flat setting. It was a cooling water line, I believe about a 16-inch line. That line was 1.8 Km long, and it actually had 93-vertical in it, so, above-ground piping. And we were able to successfully clean and coat the line. That line was opened up for inspection in multiple locations along the high line, so numerous locations were at the bottom or top of the 90. And inspectors were able to see how thorough those 90s were coated. This was a major step forwards for us in the validity of our process. We were working with a team of engineers from three different engineering companies, many who are very skeptical of our process. But these engineers today are now some of our references and have done numerous lines for these clients since.

So after the project was completed, the engineering group talked about how skeptical they were in the beginning and how incredibly surprised and pleased they were with the finished product, and how they recommend us for the future.

Lou: Great story. Thank you, Chad. Well, I think we’ve answered long enough to allow for any late arrival.

Let’s move on with the presentation. We’re here today to talk not so much about the presenters, but more about the new process of pigging and coating in one pass to maintain pipeline integrity.

One thing before we get started, today’s presentation is sponsored by EnerClear Services. EnerClear is the global leader in internal pipeline and coatings also known as in situ coatings, in situ cleaning and pipeline rehabilitation services. EnerClear provides expertise with intensive knowledge in internal corrosion and a range control at pipelines, performing two-part epoxy coatings and pipeline rehabilitation services throughout the world.

And if you will, one last reminder about questions. Everyone, please post them now or as they arise during the presentation. Just use that dialogue box on the lower right side of your screen. We really welcome those.

Chad, how about we get started?

Chad: That sounds great, Lou. Thanks again for this opportunity. I really appreciate it. So, everyone out there that’s listening, welcome to the EnerClear Services webinar. We certainly really appreciate everyone’s time and attention today. As Lou mentioned, my name is Chad Carrier, and I’m with EnerClear Services. I head up our Calgary-based office, and alongside me is our President, Nathan Campbell, who started EnerClear Services in 2005. Nathan will be here to answer some questions at the end of the presentation.

So, during today’s webinar, we’ll provide and in-depth look at unique application process of EnerClear Services in situ internal pipeline cleaning and coating services. We’ll cover a comprehensive review of the advantages and benefits of in situ internal coating versus other current applications. We’ll thread in some case history and field examples of our in situ cleaning and coating process in action. And we’ll provide a detailed description of common integrity issues that can be addressed and combatted via our in situ internal cleaning and coating process. So, let’s get to it and get in to the next slide.

EnerClear Services is a division of Magnum Energy Services. We are global leaders in the marketing service delivering acid integrity solutions to the energy industry. As trusted adviser, we supply services and technology that alleviate our customers’ corrosion and abrasion and challenges through our shop, fields, metals and in situ divisions.

We offer various types of corrosion and abrasion solutions from blasting, coating, lining and insulating utilizing various different types of coating as [inaudible 00:09:39] service which can include two-part epoxies, the nickel-chrome plating, to tungsten-carbide overlays. So as you can see on the screen, we have various locations throughout Alberta to service our markets.

On to the next slide, moving into EnerClear Services and just who we are. EnerClear Services was founded in 2005 by our president, Nathan Campbell. The EnerClear Services team has been providing our expertise and extensive knowledge in internal corrosion and erosion control of pipeline throughout the world since 2005.

We are specialist in the in situ internal pipeline cleaning and coating process. Utilizing our progressive pigging, multiple pass flood coat system, to cleaning coat new and existing pipelines in place out in the field. We use a 2-part epoxy paint and we have the ability to internally coat pipelines in place up to 20-25km in one pass.

Members of our team have been in situ cleaning and coating since the 1980. So it’s important to note that the process of in-situ internal pipelines cleaning and coating is not a new one. We are one of a handful companies in the world that employ this type of process. So it’s an alternative solution process that we, through EnerClear Services, are striving to showcase that it’s a new re-iteration in a well-proven technology. Our team has 100 years of experience collectively and has internally cleaned and coated over 2M feet of pipeline, both new and existing, in various lengths and diameters around the world.

It’s crucial to note that since the 80’s, as part of our previous incarnation and through our inception in 2005 that we have never had a failure, blistering or cracking in our coating.

Moving on. We are, at the very core, a pipeline rehabilitation company. Our main focus is the in situ cleaning and coating, but we also offer various services such as inhibiting and chemical batching, custom and contract pigging, and Nitrogen Purging, among other services.

I do want to invite you to have a look at the pictures threaded throughout our presentation – in this case, down on the right hand of the screen – as they are taken from the field during projects and really illustrate what our set-ups look like.

To the next slide. We can coat any bare steel line. In our history, we have coated oil and gas lines, potable water lines, fresh water injection, produced water lines, as well as commingled water injection lines, and we even have the capability to coat aviation fuel lines.

Next slide, our in situ coating process provides many solutions to integrity issues. Our process protects new and existing pipelines from corrosion, erosion and heat, while friction coefficients are improved. This results in significant gains in throughput and horsepower savings of up to 60% from a line of any type of build up inside.

Other benefits include a reduction in paraffin build up, joint protection at welds and reduced operating costs by way of minimizing future pigging programs and virtually eliminating chemical and heat inhibitor programs.

Moving on, the in situ cleaning and coating process is done at an economical price which reduce environmental impact. Our finished products lowers energy costs and ultimately increases profits. We are very flexible in the types of projects we can execute. We have the ability to coat any steel pipelines 3 inches and up. So all we need is 1.5D elbow or bigger to get our PIGs through. So as I mentioned earlier, 45s to 90’s are not an issue for us. We once successfully executed a project that had 93 in it. So we have encountered all sorts of projects with great success.

On to the next slide, unlike liners, the in-situ coating process drastically reduces the number of dig-ups required which lessens environmental impact. This appeases landowners and clients and reduces risks associated with river and road crossings.

Pigging programs will be drastically reduced and cost inhibitor programs will be virtually eliminated once the pipeline is internally coated. This significantly reduced the maintenance cost moving forward, increasing energy savings throughout the life of the pipe.

So I invite you to take a look at these two pictures at the bottom of the screen. On the left, we have a shot of our set up in the winter. This is from Central Alberta, and you can see our tents that cover the sender and the receiver, allowing us to work year round even in the coldest of conditions.

On the right hand side of your screen, is a set up in the summer. This was from a project that we executed in Utah of the United States. So it’s a really a nice visual of our approach.

Moving onward. There are four main integrity issues that they often encountered that our in-situ coating process can be a solution for. The first two are internal corrosion and erosion, as well as scaling. This can result in the loss of product, environmental damage, downtime and high chemical treatment cost. Scaling can reduce throughput, formation damage and increased operating costs, again, by way of pigging and inhibitors. As you can see on the right hand side on the screen, we have a solution for some very severely scaled lines.

The next slide. The other main integrity issues we can help solve are paraffin deposition and product purity. These two issues can result in downtime, reduced throughput, increased operating costs again, as well as costly filtering, equipment risk and health risk in potable water settings.

Moving on. Our process, quality control and know-how is really what sets us apart and is where our years of expertise come in to play. We [inaudible 00:16:10] especially designed pigs propelled with dried and compressed air. We have a 3-stage process where we mechanically and chemically clean and dry the pipeline via our “progressive pigging system”. Then we coat the pipeline with a two-part epoxy coating via our multiple pass light-coat system.

Next slide, the first stage of our 3-stage process is called the mechanical cleaning stage. The mechanical cleaning stage is where we identify how extensive our cleaning and pigging program needs to be. So for example, is the line new or is it existing? What’s its history, its cargo, its general circumstances, etc.

So on to the next slide. So what we do is we start by running a foam pig to prove line size and determine our next cleaning steps from that point. This can include several soap, water and solvent pigging runs to flush out used debris, hydrocarbons, wax and remove the bulk of scale and buildup inside the line. We call this our progressive pigging system as we step up the intensity of our pigging process as needed to [inaudible 00:17:24] the pipeline. This process is repeated several times as necessary to meet specified surface prep. Due to our extensive process, we’ve become very intimate and familiar with the pipeline. As in some cases, we have pigged the line over a hundred times from inception to completion.

So the next slide. The Chemical Cleaning stage. This is where we clean the pipe to the industry standard. Usually, it’s NACE 1 SFPC SP5 white metal finish. This is an incredibly important components for our process and is much like our 3rd and final coating stage.

So to the next slide. The Chemical Cleaning stage entails batching inhibited hydrochloric acid in a slug or a pail of acid between the front and the back pig. We then make several inhibited acid shuttles or runs at a controlled rate of travel, this is to loosen and remove all existing mill scales and welding slugs from pipe walls. We’re monitoring our acid strength via titration, and monitoring fluid samples throughout. This procedure is repeated multiple times with visual inspection done at every access point after every task to determine pipe wall cleanliness.

In addition, we have and extensive quality control program that involves surface passivation to maintain the pipe wall surface as well as an Acid etching program which achieves the desired cleanliness and proper profile of the substrate so that it’s coated and properly adhere to the substrate.

So the next slide. Surface prep is key. This is one of, if not, the most integral components of the process. Once we have achieved these targets, we run our “take down “ chemicals to complete the drying process prior to the coating run. This can include MEK or methyl ethyl ketone flush. So as you can see on this slide, this is a great example of a cleaning pipe. You can see just how well the tips are cleaned and ready to be coated.

Lou: Chad, you’re doing an awesome job. Thanks for powering through the first half of the presentation. This is incredibly informative. We already have a few questions that we’ll address as your presentation ends. And for all you in the audience, please keep those coming.

And just as a reminder, today’s presentation is sponsored by EnerClear. EnerClear Services is the global leader in in situ pipeline coatings and cleaning using proprietary epoxy coatings for pipeline rehabilitation services worldwide.

Chad, what do you think, are you ready to get into the heart of the presentation?

Chad: You bet, Lou. We’ll jump right in to the next stage which is the coating stage which is the, obviously, the critical components to our process.

Okay, so moving on to this slide here. This, as I mentioned, is the third and final stage which is the coating stage. It’s very similar to the chemical cleaning stage in its execution. This stage is where we apply the two-part epoxy coating to the line, the multiple pass light-coat system. This achieves the manufacturer’s specified nominal dry-film thickness.

So, to the next slide. This is achieved by batching coating between two pigs and ensuring that no air is trapped in the batch. The coating is then run at a controlled rate of travel via backpressure, multiple pumps to build-up that desired coating thickness. The specially designed back-pig extrudes the coating as a thin film under pressure. So we know that the coating is filling every pit and covering every square inch.

So think of it like a squeegee effect, where the paint is being whisked under pressure on to the line and getting in every undercut fish-looking pit. After each pass, inspection and quality measures are performed to monitor nominal dry-film thickness and then the line is purge utilizing dry air. We cure the line for a period of time calculated based on ambient conditions before the line is ready for the next coat.

Next slide: All subsequent coating passes should be roughly 2 to 3 mils or 2-3,000 mils/application until specified coverage has been met. A minimum of 3-4 passes roughly application is recommended. And in some cases, it could be up to 5-6 passes.

After multiple coats, and once the desired dry-film thickness has been achieved, which in many cases is 8-12mils or 8-12,000 of an inch thick, then the final curing is performed utilizing hot dried air forced through the line for a specified time. After the line is finally cured, a final inspection is completed. If any pipe fitting is required, touch-up work will be done to ensure coating continuity.

We then provide recommendations regarding future pigging to the operator and we confirm this with the project engineer. No destructive pigging is to be done after the line has been internally coated. Only soft foam pig and soap and water flushes will be needed. This is also indicated via stickers we apply to the line at every access point. Then, the line is ready to go back in to service. Another important point to note is that all of our coatings are coated here and are applied at -42 points.

The next slide: The question we get often is, how do you know the line is adequately coated? Well, this is achieved through our extensive process and quality control measures. As mentioned before, the coating is batched in a slag or a pill under pressure and is propelled with that dry air against back pressure. This ensures the slug of paint remains tight and free of air, forcing the coating to fill every undercut and fish hook. That pressure ensures that every square inch of the substrate is adequately coated and the back pig extrudes as a thin film. So we know every square inch is resulting in full coverage.

We utilize run-out spools at both sending and receiving end of the line to ensure that [Inaudible 00:23:48] and coating are travelling at the desired rate to deposit the coating evenly and uniformly throughout the pipeline.

Moving on, our pigs have a specially designed durometer that is customized for the coating process. This provides proper thin application, again, like that squeegee effect. Layers of paint are built up through multiple passes, and they are completely flooding that line with paint and catching it on the receiving end. So think of it like filling up your cup with paint completely then dumping it out. Imagine doing that 4, 5 – 6 times under pressure. What are the odds there’s going to be a bare spot present? We know the process sound. In addition to other process, we are continuously monitoring and sampling the fluids throughout the cleaning stage to ensure pipeline cleanliness.

Titration of the acid during the cleaning process lets us know when the mixture is no longer strong enough and needs to be replaced. Then our coating is run multiple times completely flooding that line to achieve our desired dry-film thickness.

Next slide. This slide here is a great shot to show the finished line. As you can see on the both left and the right hand side of the screen, the coating is applied uniformly and evenly, and provides excellent coverage throughout and on the weld. So as you can see on the picture on the left gives you a really good example of that coverage over top of the weld.

The next slide. As mentioned earlier, surface prep is critical to the coating properly adhering to the substrate. It is one of, if not the most integral component of our process. We have extensive quality control measures in place. We utilize that acid etching program which achieves that desired profile of the substrate that usually involves the Test-X tape to measure profile of the substrate throughout. This is so that the coating can properly adhere. In most cases, this involves usually 1.5 to 2.5 mil surface prep.

After each pass, we holiday test and perform visual inspections at both ends, on the risers, camelbacks and any other access points throughout the line. Please keep in mind that every pipeline is unique, and these are general guidelines.

Moving on to the next slide. We are constantly measuring the dry zone thickness as you progress through each pass. We are adequately assessing the thickness of each layer as it’s applied. If there are any issues, this is where they will be indicated and we can address them at source. Again, a final inspection is completed, and then the line is turned over to a back [inaudible 00:26:44] service.

Moving on. This slide is another excellent illustration of a finished pipeline product. You can see just how well the coating is applied. All of our coatings are specifically formulated for our in-situ process. So this includes having characteristics extended [inaudible 00:27:08] and a certain viscosity among other variations that can be done.

Next slide. Two main problems that our internal cleaning and coating process can solve are scale build up and corrosion and erosion. As you can see on this slide, we have encountered some severely scaled line, some severely corroded and eroded line. And we were able to successfully rehabilitate and reactivate the line. It’s important to note, every picture that you’re seeing throughout this presentation are pictures that we have taken from out in the field.

So the next slide. Pitting. This is a major integrity issue. On this slide, you can see just how well their cleaning and coating process addresses the issue of pitting. These photos are cut out from a project we executed in the field. You can see how well the coatings filled in those pits and provide that uniform coverage throughout.

Next slide. Our internal cleaning and coating process also provides corrosion protection in many different environments such as water, saltwater, H2S, CO2 and heat environment. An internally coated line also provides friction reduction. We remove that scale, calcification and corrosion by-product, and it prevents future adhesions (wax or paraffin’s).

Moving on. So in addition, an internally coated line offers paraffin retardation and joint protection. It will prevent the ion exchange required to form a crystalline structure. If formed, the amorphous state can normally be swept from the line with normal flow or periodic pigging – non-destructive pigging only. Joint protection is also offered, ensuring that each weld is thoroughly cleaned of slag and properly coated. This is a huge benefit compared to a pipe that has been coated in the shop and then welded open-field.

Next slide. In summation, there are additional benefits to an internally coated line. Unlike liners, there are no annulus issues present and there’s only a minor loss of pipeline ID, for example 8-12,000th of an inch. That can equal to huge cost savings. The coatings are designed to withstand normal vacuum conditions. And because we don’t operate heavy equipment, we’re not limited by break-up conditions in Canada, so we can work in a variety of different environments.

We choose to limit distances we can go due to air pressure control on a project per project basis. This means we are very flexible and has the ability to work with and alongside new construction projects. Generally for our process, the larger the diameter, the longer we choose to go in our passes as it’s easier to control the air pressures.

Minor changes in pipe sched, for example One Jump, aren’t an issue for us as our pigs have that especially designed durometer providing a flex components. To date, we have never experienced a failure, coating, coating-blistering or cracking in our process and in our history.

Next slide. So, to conclude, I invite you to take a look at this slide [Inaudible 00:30:36] excellent example of a project from inception to completion. On the left is the pipeline we first encountered. In the middle is the pipeline after having mechanically and chemically cleaned. And on the right is a finished internally-coated line. And then, you can see that excellent pitting coverage. This is a 14-inch cooling water line, 6 km in length, built in the 1980s. We’re pitting up to 75% wall-loss in some areas.

So to finish off, it is crucial to note that we have never experienced any coating cracking, blistering or scales in our company history. This is something that we take very seriously and with great pride. Our in-situ internal coating process is an alternative at the moment, but it is something that we’re striving to meet more mainstream throughout every project. Our best advertising is our past work history and track record.

Once a prospective client sees our system in action and experiences the benefit of an in-situ internally coated line, we often experience extensive repeat work. As we all know, there isn’t a silver bullet solution for every integrity issue. As with any solution process or technology, there are limitations and proper parameter to define its validity. But given the right conditions and contact, we feel that our in-situ internal pipeline, cleaning and coating system can significantly extend the life of the pipeline and should be considered a valid option in rehabilitation and pro-active pipeline integrity protection.

So, on to the final slide. So in conclusion, I would just invite you to visit our website www.enerclear.ca and to visit our parent company, Magnum Energy Services website which is mesgroup.ca to learn more about EnerClear Services and Magnum Energy Services.

So on behalf of Nathan and I and our entire EnerClear and Magnum team, we thank you so much for your time and for this opportunity to discuss our services.

Lou: Chad, thank you so much. Wow, what an excellent and informative presentation. Thank you as well to the engaged men and women in our audience for joining us today.

And thanks to EnerClear, the global reader in internal pipelines in-situ cleaning and coating systems and pipeline rehabilitation services for being our sponsor, making this presentation possible.

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